Do you like a good love story? Mine is for the books! This year and this past month marks 10 years being married to Nate and TWENTY FOUR years since we met. And this is where the story gets interesting. Why such a huge gap between how long we’ve been married versus how long I’ve know Nate? Let me take you to the beginning…
Nate and I met when I was 15, and he was 16. I had just come back from a year of schooling in the Philippines (mandatory tradition in my family). In the Philippines I had my first boyfriend, first kiss at age 13, and first taste of a very humiliating public breakup (he dumped me at the bleachers and brought his entire fraternity ughhh). The Philippines was the first place I ever thought I was fat because at least at the time, my relatives would just tell me I was fat! Culturally it was acceptable to do so. The girls who everyone thought were pretty were skinny with no chest and no butt. It messed with my psyche at this coming of age moment.
Fast forward to the year after. My best friend at the time and I told our parents we wanted to go to a Christian boarding school eight hours away. They agreed we could go! My self-esteem and body image were shot by this point… and then I met Nate. He was like a teen heart throb- just look at him! It was love at first sight.
He was a village kid who didn’t go to our boarding school, and I first saw him at church youth group one day. That first day my best friend and I saw him and were like Who is that hot guy? He doesn’t go to our school! My hopes were dashed when he sat down next to our gorgeous friend Esther. Oh well, we decided that they made a cute looking couple.
The weird thing was when we played the game “Telephone” using a Bible verse at the start and everyone whispering to each other all the way to the end, the guy stood up at the end and said “Esther’s feet smell like trash?” The whole class started bursting in laughter followed by Esther punching Nate in the arm. That’s weird, I thought, Why would he change it to that?
After youth class, Esther answered all my questions when she came up to me and said,
“Hey my brother wants to know if he can call you at the dorm some time.”
Trying to hide my raving enthusiasm and shock that they weren’t dating, I said,
“Oh I didn’t realize that was your brother. I thought you were dating.”
“Oh you can’t tell? He’s my twin!”
He came over to the dorm. He made me laugh so hard. We were inseparable for 11 months. At the time I didn’t know it, but he didn’t have a car and he would bike to the school any chance he go to come play basketball with me at rec time. One day we went on a park walk with the school during sundown, and he talked about helping a kid in blind camp and reached over and held my hand. He didn’t stop holding my hand when he finished his story. There was a sudden Texas downpour on the way home, and we found ourselves drenched in rain but I remember crashing into bed that night with all the butterflies. I remember him finding ways to hold my hand, like he said, “You have to hold a screw in the car when you go over a train track for good luck,” and he’d plant his hand over mine when I reached for a screw. It was so cheesy, but I loved every minute of it. He had flowers sent to my classroom on our two month anniversary and planted flowers in my room and planned a secret double date with another couple for another anniversary. We sneaked a chance to kiss under those Jefferson pine trees all year.
We dated for 11 months and then we didn’t see each other for 12 years. My dad made us break up at the end of the year when he arrived at the dorm to pick me up for summer break and saw that I was laying on Nate’s lap. He had a strict (and unrealistic) rule that if I had a boyfriend he always had to be an arms length away from me! hahaa.
I dated other people after Nate, and I’m glad I did because I’m a butterflies kind of girl. I needed to get the addiction to butterflies out of my system. I’m also not one of those girls who can appreciate a guy unless I’ve had my share of heartbreak and disappointment, which of course I did. After the hardest breakup I had in college, I prayed to God that the next guy I dated would be my husband. Be careful what you wish for! I didn’t have a date for five years. And then, just like that, Nate came back into the picture. His sister was our go-between again, giving Nate my number and reaching out to me on Myspace, asking me if it was okay if Nate called me.
I had a lonely five year stint being single, and then I met Nate again. We started talking over the phone January of 2010, I visited in March, moved in May, got engaged New Year’s eve, and got married July of the next year.
So what would I tell my single self looking back? I’d tell her to wait in hopeful anticipation. I’d tell her to pay off her credit cards! I’d tell her she’s not single because she thinks she’s fat! I’d tell her any time she wondered why it never worked out with a guy that…
For any single gals reading this, I’ve been there. FIVE years at the time felt like an eternity. But my fear for you is this….
Don’t settle. Don’t settle. Don’t settle. I have a heart for singles. I’ve been there. Did you know I used to write a dating column at datingadvicefromagirl.com for 10 years until I gave the site to my best friend Robyn?
If you’re a single Christian reading this, I’ll tell you what my friend Jacki told me back when I was single and doubting if anyone was out there who was meant to be my forever. She said,
“NOW is the time for faith.”
And she was right. There’s only two seasons, when you’re single and when you’re coupled. And you can only practice faith (that God will provide the right spouse) in one of those seasons. So this is your chance to have faith. I pray that you will wait patiently with hopeful anticipation. xoxo
*If you’re a bride to be and searching for a wedding dress for apple shapes, I wrote a post about that here.
*Here are some wedding dresses I love that would look great on an apple shape-
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